News > News > With Inflation Reduction Act, Senate takes historic step to confront climate crisis: Riverkeeper statement

With Inflation Reduction Act, Senate takes historic step to confront climate crisis: Riverkeeper statement

Deal is weakened by fossil fuel giveaways, but benefits are clear: This $369 billion climate legislation can put the U.S. on path to achieve 31-45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and support New York’s climate goals.

Contact: Jeremy Cherson, Senior Manager of Government Affairs, [email protected], (770) 630-6790

Riverkeeper applauds the U.S. Senate for passing historic legislation to fight climate change, which is critical for preserving the health of the Hudson River and waters around the globe. The Schumer-Manchin climate, tax, and health care package known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed Sunday. According to four independent analyses, the $369 billion climate incentives and policies included in the legislation will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions between 31 and 45 percent by 2030, based on 2005 emissions. See a detailed summary of the provisions from Evergreen Action.

Riverkeeper has called for Congressional action on climate change for decades. The Senate’s vote is a significant victory. We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the package and send it to President Biden for his signature. The legislation is critical to ensuring U.S. climate policy gets back on track. Combined with additional executive, state, and local action, these policies can put the nation on a path to meeting President Biden’s campaign promise of a 50-52 percent reduction by 2030 and provide a jolt for international climate action. Additionally, the legislation contains critical funding for watershed restoration and research through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal agencies. 

Unfortunately, the compromise included policies that will lock in fossil fuel development for a generation, harming waterways and communities in the process. However, the pro-fossil fuel policies are heavily outweighed by clean energy policies, according to independent analyses of the legislation. Another apparent compromise, as part of the agreement to earn Senator Manchin’s support, is a deal to develop permitting reforms for energy projects, including those that involve fossil fuels and hydropower, that may significantly weaken the National Environmental Policy Review Act and Section 401 of the Clean Water Act while narrowing options for legal remedies. Riverkeeper urges Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as New York’s House delegation, to oppose these efforts to weaken our landmark environmental laws. Riverkeeper and our allies and we will continue to stay vigilant and fight harmful projects that threaten clean water and vulnerable communities. 

Riverkeeper has the following statements on the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the U.S. Senate:

“Thanks to Sunday’s historic Senate vote passing the Inflation Reduction Act, we have renewed hope that America can accelerate our transition to renewable energy and slash our greenhouse gas emissions. New York State has committed to meeting the climate crisis, and this legislation provides critical support to achieve our goals,” said Tracy Brown, Riverkeeper President. “For decades, Riverkeeper has been calling for federal action to support renewable energy and energy conservation. We want to thank Senator Schumer for his unwavering commitment to these shared goals and Senator Gillibrand for her strong support of this legislation. Riverkeeper urges the House to send the bill to President Biden as soon as possible.”

With funding to accelerate clean energy, the Senate vote is a game changer for New York’s implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It’s a step in the right direction for ensuring the Hudson River is spared from the most catastrophic projections for climate change. We celebrate the historic action the Senate has taken while recognizing that compromise policies included at the behest of the fossil fuel industry are incompatible with climate goals and environmental justice,” said Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper Senior Manager of Government Affairs. “We thank Senator Schumer for his diligence pushing this long overdue climate action over the finish line and Senator Gillibrand for her support. We urge the House of Representatives to send the Inflation Reduction Act to President Biden’s desk without delay.”

More information:

Modeling the Inflation Reduction Act, Energy Innovation LLC

Rhodium Group analysis

Moody’s Analytics assessment

Princeton University REPEAT analysis

The Climate and Community Project analysis

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